Land occupations were the driving force of land reform throughout the independence period, despite the official land acquisition model. The latter remained committed to the market principle, at first in accordance with the Lancaster House constitutional provisions, and then with the terms of the structural adjustment program. Nonetheless, with the expiry of the Lancaster House provisions, the government began to redefine the official model by enacting legislation in 1992 that would enable compulsory acquisition, but without, in effect, implementing such acquisition or replacing the market method. The three models—popular, market, and state—would interact dynamically over the decade of structural adjustment.55

The land reform process may be usefully divided into three periods: 1980—1992, characterized by the relatively secure predominance of the market method; 1992—1999, characterized by the beginning of an official challenge to the market method and leading to a real threat of compulsory acquisition in 1997, in the context of deepening social and political crisis; and 2000—2002, the period in which the market method was resolutely abandoned and replaced by radical, compulsory acquisition.

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